There were the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Gen Y, and the maligned Millennials. Meet the Coddleds. That's my term but it fits. Today's kids are coddled and overprotected. They seldom do anything that isn't under adult supervision so they have no experience of making their own decisions or dealing with problems on their own.
Schools offer hot breakfasts and hot lunches to students that are not, for the most part, wanting for anything. By the time a kid is in grade 7, he can make his own lunch (earlier, really.) Breakfast can be hot at home, too. Fry an egg, make toast, cook some oatmeal in the microwave. The breakfast sandwich that arrives for those who ordered and paid for it, is cold, gelatinous, and not appetizing. It is fast food at its worst. More time is spent filling forms, collecting money, and distributing hot food than it would take to make or bring your own.
Kids have pre-tests. Not to evaluate what they know before taking a unit but so that they can practise for the real thing. They don't try too hard. Why bother? They'll get another chance and they won't get a zero.
Some kids are bullied. Now everyone is hyper-aware, it seems that the reporting (tattling) of bullying is its newest form.
No sport, activity, or play can be initiated and managed without adults. The tiniest injury is life- threatening and enormously painful. An elementary kid came to me with the tiniest mark on his chin. He had "stabbed" himself with his pencil earlier, (I didn't ask more), and he wanted to go to the office for an ice pack. I told him, no. The "injury" wouldn't warrant a scab. Perhaps he should have gotten the ice for his overheated brain.
Does this over-protectiveness benefit the kids in the long run? NO. They don't know how to make their own decisions, lack basic life skills, and when things go wrong, look for mom, dad or someone else to "fix" everything. They are left without resources they should have developed along the way. Generation Coddled faces a tough road.
I know how blessed and lucky I am to live in the abundance and safety of Canada. I have to worry more about wasting food, than finding it. I have more clothing than I can wear out in the years I have left. I have luxuries people in other countries cannot imagine. I owe this to the men and women who served in WWI, WWII, the Korean Conflict and other peace-keeping missions around the world. Most recently Canadian lives have been lost in Afghanistan. This is so I can enjoy a privileged lifestyle. I'm am not rich by North American standards but if you consider the world, I am materially among the most fortunate.
November 11, at 11th hour, Canadians will gather at cenotaphs and halls to remember. The Canadian Government designated this date for "remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace." November 11th observances will begin with the bugling of the Last Post, followed by two minutes of silence.
I plan to attend our local ceremony which has been moved from the cenotaph to our Communiplex. I hope it is for reasons of space or so that the aging veterans (those left) can be more comfortable. There is something more solemn and authentic about remembering at the Cenotaph.
I wish, as I have said before, I had spoken more with my Dad about his service in WWII. He did not want to talk about it but if I had shown more interest, with time, he might have. Time was something we didn't have; he died when he was 56.
He was a raw prairie farm boy, overseas for six years, fighting in the most terrible battles. Against Rommel in North Africa, up through Sicily and Italy, with time in Holland and Belgium. Nothing would have prepared him for what he saw, what he had to do, and how he would feel when he came back to Canada. He was a quiet man, thoughtful, and I think made more so by his war experiences. He was no general, captain or lieutenant. He was in the artillery and faced action all the time. I was too young and dumb to realize what I owed him.
I've been writing on and off for years and this is where my more serious pieces will be.